Changes to waste regulations which are due to come into force later this year will affect all businesses. The main change is that the regulations require businesses to confirm that they have applied the waste management hierarchy when transferring waste. This requirement extends the existing Duty of Care for waste and treatment requirements to ensure that organisations consider, prevention, preparing for reuse, recycling, and recovery of waste prior to disposal. Whenever you pass waste on to someone else, you will now have to declare on the waste transfer, or hazardous consignment note, that you have applied the waste management hierarchy. The regulations also introduce a two-tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, including a new concept of a waste dealer, and make amendments to hazardous waste controls introducing a new category, H15 Sensitizing.
The key changes that businesses need to be aware of are:
- Waste producers or those handling waste must comply with the WFD waste hierarchy (prevention, prepare for re-use, recycling, recovery, disposal) - unless it can be justified on environmental or technical grounds that this is not appropriate.
- From 1 Jan 2015, any business collecting waste containing waste paper, glass, metal or plastic must 'take all such measures to ensure separate collection of that waste'. This is to ensure this waste does not go to landfill.
- From 1 Jan 2014, any business that carries their own waste will need to be registered as a waste carrier. However, once registered, they will not need to register again unlike other waste carriers who will still need to register every three years.
- Transfer notes will require additional information including the 2007 SIC code of the transfer or and confirmation that they have applied the WFD waste hierarchy.
- The new Regulations enable electronic transfer notes and signatures to be used.
- The new rules will give the Environment Agency powers to apply Compliance, Stop and Restoration Notices.
There are also a number of changes to the Hazardous Waste Regulations through this new legislation. These include:
- The removal of Multiple Consignment Notes.
- A consignor is also defined as a broker or dealer of hazardous waste.
- A new Hazard Code is being added - H15 - Waste capable by any means, after disposal, of yielding another substance, e.g. a leachate, which possesses any of the characteristics above.
- Some changes to the Environmental Permitting Regulations in relation to Hazardous Waste.
- Some changes to the List of Wastes (EWC codes) for Hazardous Waste that are not yet clear.
And finally, the new Regulations revoke many of the existing environmental regulations relating to England and Wales.